Once the final teaser of the 2012 Hyundai Veloster was released last week, we knew that the new compact would be a 5-door hatchback similar to the 2012 Ford Focus but when the Veloster was officially unveiled, we were introduced to the next era of Hyundai coupe styling. That’s right…Hyundai has built themselves a compact hatchback sporting coupe form with an interesting twist - a rear door on the passenger side.
When I first laid eyes on the 2012 Veloster, it was from the driver’s side and the spy shots showing the rear passenger’s side door didn’t occur to me so my first thought was that Hyundai had put together a sporty, compact 2-door hatchback. Then I walked around to the passenger’s side and lo-and-behold, I was looking at the side of what most would assume to be a 5-door hatchback but when you close the rear door the car melts back into a coupe.
Hyundai has gained quite a bit of popularity with the aggressive styling of their newest products and the 2012 Veloster sports more radical styling that will help it stand out in the segment. The Korean automaker could have left it at that and a compact 3-door hatchback would have stood a good chance of growth within the segment but the addition of the large rear door adds a great deal of convenience and functionality to the new Veloster.
In addition to the interesting, edgy design of the 2012 Veloster, Hyundai has used new drive train technology to help the new compact compete with the best in the segment. The Veloster teaser site claimed that it would yield 40mpg and now we know that it will reach those lofty numbers with the help of a 1.6L engine using direct injection and dual continuously variable valve timing to make 138 horsepower and 123lb-ft of torque. That power is sent to the wheels via a new dual-clutch (automatic) transmission but if you want some gear-grabbing fun, there is also a six-speed manual transmission available.
Hyundai’s sales numbers have grown substantially over the past two years thanks to new models like the Sonata and Genesis and the innovative 2012 Veloster could help the Korean automaker compete with some of the biggest names in the compact segment.
Check out the gallery below for a closer look at the 2012 Hyundai Veloster along with the links below for other Detroit Auto Show news!
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